AWEJ Volume.4 Number.4, 2013                                                                    Pp.339-353

 Abstract PDF

 Full Paper PDF  

The Reproduction of Racialization and Racial Discrimination in Classrooms and its Impact on ELLs’ Social Interactions and L2 Development

Ayesha Mohammed Mudhaffer
English Language Institute
King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia



The consequences of racialization and racial discrimination against English Language Learners (ELLs) in many schools and classrooms are reflected in their degree of socialization in the academic community which ultimately affects their English language development. Since second language acquisition is a social rather than an individual process, ELLs may not find the support they need for essential progress (in the second language they are learning) in their classrooms due to the limited opportunities for social engagement. Inferiorizing newcomer ELLs and discriminating them due to their difference of skills, orientations, and actions will also affect ELLs’ degree and forms of participation in the practices of the classroom community. Ignoring such an issue can result in the reproduction of the marginalized social status of newcomer ELLs and the reproduction of the dominating and accepted forms of cultural capital. In the light of Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory that supports the social development of language learning, the different forms of discrimination which students are subject to can have a negative impact on learners’ social and language development. Racialization decreases opportunities for healthy socialization and thus limits students’ development in their L2 and access to the classroom practices.
Keywords: English Language Learners, marginalization, racial discrimination, racialization


Ayesha Mohammed Mudhaffer is a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the English Language
Institute (ELI) in King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Saudi Arabia. She received her BA in
English Language at KAU and her M.Ed in TESL at Simon Fraser University in Canada. After
spending a year at ELI, she joined the exam preparation unit. Currently, She is a member of the
grading committee